Amulet of Lungs and Windpipe
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Funerary Gallery 2, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
Living persons wore only one or a few amulets at a time, but mummies usually bear many amulets. The Ma’at amulet (no. 2) and heart scarabs (nos. 1, 3, 11), which occurred in many forms, guaranteed a successful judgment of the dead. The amulets of a hand (no. 8), lungs and a windpipe (no. 12), and wadjet-eyes (i.e., “healthy” eyes; no. 4) protected those parts of the body and also had connotations of resurrection and the unity or integrity of the mummy. The enigmatic aper amulet (no. 13) takes the form of the hieroglyph meaning “to be equipped,” perhaps in reference to the mummy’s preparation. The two crowns (nos. 5, 6) were symbols of power. The Heh insignia (no. 7), like the popular ankh-sign, denoted eternal life. Among the living, the frog (no. 9) and possibly also the hare (no. 10) suggested fertility. The amulets of the Four Sons of Horus (no. 15) perhaps served, as they did with canopic jars, to protect various organs of the body.
ca. 1539-1295 B.C.E. or later
1 1/8 x 5/16 x 1/8 in. (2.8 x 0.8 x 0.3 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield, Theodora Wilbour, and Victor Wilbour honoring the wishes of their mother, Charlotte Beebe Wilbour, as a memorial to their father Charles Edwin Wilbour
Amulet of Lungs and Windpipe, ca. 1539-1295 B.C.E. or later. Stone, 1 1/8 x 5/16 x 1/8 in. (2.8 x 0.8 x 0.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield, Theodora Wilbour, and Victor Wilbour honoring the wishes of their mother, Charlotte Beebe Wilbour, as a memorial to their father Charles Edwin Wilbour, 16.580.28. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.16.580.28_wwgA-3.jpg)
installation, West Wing gallery A-3 installation, CUR.16.580.28_wwgA-3.jpg
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2005
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Amulets could be carried or placed within a mummy's bandages to bring health and good luck in the afterlife. This amulet is meant to resemble a set of lungs and a wind pipe which is also the hieroglyph "sma" or union.